Ways to Simplify your Life and Be Happier

life challenges to overcome

Money, power, fame, influence, relationships; the modern world has been set up in a way that there is always something new we are chasing. 

Everyone is chasing after something they believe will make them happy. Even worse is the exaggeration by social media. When you scroll through your feed on Instagram, Tik-Tok, Snapchat, and Facebook, everyone seems like they have it all and they are living their best lives. 

They have perfect bodies, partners, and careers. They live in mansions, they can afford all the designer items that were launched yesterday, they travel the world and to top it off, they are very happy. Sooner or later, this obsession with material things starts to rub off on you. You want it all and you want it now. 

The complexities of modern life are hard enough to deal with. All-day long, we have tablets, smartphones, computers, and TVs in front of our faces. This means that for 24 hours, 7 days a week, we get updates on everything that’s going on around us. 

So much of our time is spent looking at screens and trying to build virtual friendships instead of nurturing meaningful relationships with the people around us. Our productivity one may argue has been significantly compromised by technology. 

Add to that the pressures of having that “perfect” life that is so idolized on social media and you have a ticking time bomb; a recipe for an unhappy, depressed, and miserable life. Sadly, our perception of happiness is linked to material things. 

We dream of getting the next big gadget, outfit, bag, car and so on. Our minds will never settle until we acquire this new “fix.” And even when we finally get it, it’s usually not enough. The feelings of happiness we get from acquiring these ‘things’ quickly vanishes like sand sifting through our fingers. It’s like a drug really, it offers a quick fix and when that feeling diminishes, we run off looking for the next new thing that will give us our next high. 

This vicious cycle of consumption never brings true happiness. Instead of peace, we are usually left with anger, frustration, and empty pockets. 

A simple life means living in the moment, content and grateful for everything you have and not torturing yourself with the desires of “bought happiness” and keeping up with all your idolized influencers or peers. 

At the very essence of simplifying your life lies the need to remove most modern-day distractions.

Fortunately, a simple life that brings happiness is not just a thing of our dreams. A simple, happy life is something that you can achieve. 

Here are some of the best ways to simplify your life, improve your physical and mental health and live a happier life.

1. Minimize social distractions 

Social media is the coolest thing these days. The pull of digital socialization is so strong, it’s so hard not to be sucked in. You don’t have to be a slave to it though. You don’t have to check what’s happening on Facebook every time you receive a new notification. You don’t have to post on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat every day unless it’s for work.

Quit spending so much of your time trying to impress people who don’t know you nor care. What’s the gain in trying so hard to convince others that you are living your “best life” other than wasting a lot of your constructive time? 

It’s often easier to interact online than in real life. I get it right now many of us can’t go out to socialize so you may be on virtual meetups or even online dating. I don’t want you to be isolated, just pause to ask yourself if the online activity is useful to you for instance, is it for work or keeping connected to loved ones? If so go ahead but be moderate in your time spent online.

As much as digital socialization keeps us connected with loved ones, it is also a major source of distraction. Social media can and will stand in the way of your happiness without you knowing it. 

And this is not about demonizing social media. Social media is a good thing when used constructively. Be careful about the conversations you take part in. Don’t just contribute to conversations for the sake of trolling others, gossiping, or talking negatively about other people. 

You will only attract more bad vibes by doing this. 

2. Minimize screen time

Screens are a major source of mental clutter. Have you ever noticed that the media thrives off negativity? Even worse, in between those bulletins, you will be bombarded with commercials that highlight people’s insecurities to cash out on them.

Minimize watching TV, YouTube, Netflix, (yes Netflix!), any form of staring at your screen for prolonged periods if not necessary. When you minimize screen time, you will reduce your exposure to “breaking” news items and commercials that dwell on your insecurities or that send you into panic while saving on valuable time too. 

Smartphones also fall under this category. How many apps do you have on your phone? How many of them do you use? With more distractions on your phone, you increase your screen time significantly. 

You will notice that your mind is calmer and you have less clutter when you reduce your screen time. 

quotes to be happy

3. Only buy things that you need  

Buying the latest items won’t simplify your life in any way. They won’t make you happier either. If anything, you will have more to clean, organize and worry about. When you only buy things that you need, you will simplify your life in so many ways. You will also have extra money to spend on more important things.

Instead of obsessing over the latest designer items, why don’t you start building an emergency fund? This is something you can fall back on if something such as an accident or sickness happens. 

You can also invest the money and earn profits from it a few years from now. If you have a dream project, why don’t you start investing in it? Instead of buying luxury items to make you “happy” invest in your dreams and goals. These are things that will make you truly happy. 

4. Avoid negative people 

Stay away from people who exhaust you emotionally. Avoid people who are demanding, mean, toxic, and angry. I hear many people complaining about how toxic their bosses or their friends are, and they never do anything about it. 

Negativity will exhaust you emotionally. If you spend too much of your time with negative people, it will rub off on you eventually. You can become a negative person too, and that is not healthy at all. 

If you have an unpleasant boss, perhaps consider looking for another job or take a look at the situation and ask if there is something that you can do to improve your relationship with your boss. Start a business or a blog and make money from it. Don’t let your environment rob you of your happiness. 

A little advice though. It’s not always the other person who is demanding, mean and angry. Sometimes we blame others so much that we forget that we might be part of the problem too. Take time today and think about how much you contribute to a negative situation. 

If you are part of the problem, then it’s time to make a change. You always have another option to live a better life. 

5. Create a budget and simplify your finances 

Finances are a big part of everyday life. And they can become complicated if not carefully planned. Create a weekly or monthly budget. List down all your bills and finances according to the money you are expecting to earn. 

How to achieve abundance of wealth in 2021

Stick to your budget. 

Writing a budget is one thing, sticking to it is another. Most people lose it when it comes to following through with the budget that they wrote. 

One rule;

Don’t buy it if it’s not on the list and it’s not an emergency. 

Be strict with yourself and avoid spending money on things that are not budgeted for. If you do this, you will avoid a lot of stress and anxiety. 

It will all pay off in the end. Eventually, you will have enough money to spend on things that truly matter and invest the rest on things that will bring you profits. 

I particularly like this video on showing you how to create a budget

6. Practice gratitude  

You may have everything that life has to offer, but as long as you are not grateful, they will never be enough. 

How many times do you appreciate things that you have?

Sadly, we spend so much time complaining about things that we don’t have, instead of appreciating everything that we already have. It’s truly a tragic way to live. 

Be grateful for what you have while pursuing things that you don’t. Gratitude makes you happier. It helps you to develop a positive attitude while reducing your stress and anxiety levels. With a grateful heart, you will never be depressed too. 

The more gratitude you express, the more grateful you become. And this will make you a happier person. 

You may not have everything you want, but you have a lot to be grateful for already. Don’t sit around with the “I will start being happy and grateful when I have this or that” mentality. 

Count your blessings every day and be thankful for everything that you have. 

I want you to know that simpler does not mean less, this is a way to stay happy no matter what is happening externally in your lives.

In case you wanted more check out more ways to live a simple life, then read How practice gratitude even when you do not have hope

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Hi! I'm Dr Jessica

I share my expertise as a Family Physician to provide you with the support and tools to a holistic lifestyle.

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